Presented on Wednesday, October 23 in the Barn at Quarry Farm as part of the 2019 Fall Trouble Begins Lecture Series.
Just as would be the case today, Sam and Livy Clemens embarked on an adventure in building a new house. Like any young couple, having a dream, selecting an architect, and seeing a project through to the finish is always a challenge. Sam and Livy spent a substantial portion of her inheritance on the house, and their love for it was life-long, even after they left it. At the time of its completion, the Hartford Courant remarked that the house was the newest marvel of Hartford, a city replete with large and expensive domestic architecture. Their architect, Edward Tuckerman Potter, designed a house that was undoubtedly stylish and thoroughly contemporary, but while it fell within the general early precepts of the Stick Style, it was not in the mainstream, and still stands out today for its individuality. A few years after its completion, the Clemens engaged Louis Comfort Tiffany and Associated Artists to take the interior up to a whole new level. We will look both at the Clemenses' personal journey in construction and the architectural roots of a remarkable and iconic building and what made it the singular example of the Stick Style that it became and what remains today.
Pieter Nicholson Roos has served the museum field since 1984, working all over the Northeast. In 1999 he became the Founding Executive Director of the Newport Restoration Foundation, a preservation and museum organization that administers some 82 historic properties. In 2016 he created the groundbreaking "Keeping History Above Water" conference, the first national discussion of the impact of climate change on historic preservation. Since 2017, Pieter has served as the Executive Director of the Mark Twain House and Museum. During the last two years, programming has doubled, and $2.8 million has been raised to enhance programming and operations and to preserve the campus and the house. Pieter has written and lectured extensively, teaching at Harvard University and Brown University. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission's Fred Williamson Award for Professional Excellence and the Doris Duke Preservation Award.